I've asked my friend Natalya, who works for Yandex, to explain a little bit about what it is, what it does, and why it matters. Her responses are unofficial, and solely represent her own opinions. Enjoy!
It is not as easy to answer this question as it seems at first glance. I cannot consider Yandex only as a search engine or yet another IT-company. Yandex provides a wide spectrum of services for users - starting with search and browser and ending with a service for ordering a taxi (Yandex.Taxi). Before I started working at Yandex, I had known and used only the search, maps and market functions. Now I cannot imagine my life without Yandex.Music, Yandex.Money, Yandex.Taxi and bunch of other services which help me almost in every situation. The above mentioned is a vision of Yandex from my point of view as an user. As an employee, Yandex for me is the greatest team with which I'm happy to work (some of my colleagues are my true friends and all of them are awesome professionals), special corporate culture and really comfortable place to work at and spend time. We call each other "яндексоидами" (yandexoid) that make me feel that we all are the team. I don't know people here who are used to work nine to five, because you have an opportunity to participate in pretty interesting and useful projects. The idea that my work aids to create or support services which will help people to find something or solve their problems, makes me feel rewarded. Probably I should also mention about our office and perks which Yandex provides to its employees. You may find how creative and comfortable the office is here https://www.instagram.com/yandex/. By the way, plants on walls are real :). On each floor there are coffee points where are fresh fruits, cheese, sweets, coffee and other tasty food. We have a gym in the office, musical room, library, canteen and even shower room. We don't have dress code, so even I working as a lawyer can wear jeans and whatever I want.
2) How do the applications of Yandex differ from Google? What's different or better about it?
Yandex search takes into account peculiarities of Russian language, that's why search results are more relevant when using Yandex rather than Google in Runet (it is a part of the Internet in the Russian language). Would like to mention that Yandex has its presence not only in Russia, but as well in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and even Turkey. Since Yandex doesn’t have to unify its services for all countries, Yandex has opportunity to focus on special necessities of users from countries of its presence.
3) What role do you play at Yandex?
I'm a legal counsel at Yandex. My specialization is intellectual property, so I'm engaged in projects connected with licensing technologies, content and software for Yandex.
4) Which do Russians use more- google or yandex?
Russians mostly prefer using Yandex. The numbers are fluctuating, however approximate market share of Yandex amounts to 60% in Russia, whereas Google has 30%.
5) What is the future of the company?
In my opinion, Yandex is on firm ground right now. Yandex is a first company, which could bite a part of Google market share in other countries (Yandex rose in its market share in Turkey this year compared to the Google market share). It shows that the company has big potential to develop not only in Russia, but in other counties as well. Would like to mention that Yandex concentrates not only on search. It permanently improves existing applications, develops such projects like Big Data (it is a common term for special means of processing large amounts of data where traditional processing methods are inadequate), invests to education and so on.
Of course, this review is not detailed or deep, I just tried to give an idea what is Yandex now in a way that people who will read this won't fall asleep after the first paragraph:) "